South Africa: Water and Sanitation On Dam Levels Assessment

Average dam levels show a steady decline week on week

The national storage continues to be under increasing stress as the dam levels continue to show a steady decline week on week. This is based on the latest dam levels assessment conducted on 26 September 2016 by the Department of Water and Sanitation. The levels are down by 0.5% to 51.4%. Last year at the same time the dam levels were at 70.3%.

The Umgeni Dam system which consists of 5 dams serving mainly eThekwini and Msinduze is at 45.1% this week compared with 45.9% last week, a decrease of 0.8%.The Hazelmere is at 63% an increase of 2% week on week. The Hazelmere Dam will however be kept below 64% to ensure the safety of construction workers. Water will be released if and when necessary.

Other KZN dams which remain dangerously low are: Klipfontein at 12.4%, Hluhluwe at 17.9% and Goedertrouw at 17.3%. The current restrictions for Goedertrouw Dam will remain at 15% for industry, 40% for domestic and 80% for irrigation.

The Vaal River System which consists of 14 dams and serving mainly Gauteng, Sasol and Eskom has had a further decrease of 0.6% to 51.8%. Katse Dam is at 43.6% and the Vaal Dam decreased by 0.7% week on week to 30.9% The Sterkfontein Dam has increased to 90.2% mainly due to improved pumping capacity from the Upper Tugela. The Grootdraai Dam is at 72.1% which sees a decrease of 0.8%.

The City of Joburg has indicated that there is a significantly lower increase in demand compared with previous years and all metros have published their restrictions. The impact of the restrictions is however not yet visible. The department will manage the Vaal Dam down to 25% before releasing water from the Sterkfontein Dam.

The Orange River serving the Gariep Dam is at 57.7% which is a decrease of 0.2% and Van Der Kloof Dam is at 61%, a decrease of 1.7%. The Polokwane System serving 2 dams has decreased to 32.7%. Restrictions of 20% for domestic use are in place.

The department will continue to monitor 211 dams on a weekly basis. All water users are encouraged to use water wisely as the seasonal outlook for rain is not looking promising.

Source: South African Government.